Ten Things That Should Be Written About

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This post is scheduled a few weeks in advance as I am currently on a rural rotation without decent internet access. Responses to comments will thus be slower than usual. This week with The Broke and The Bookish we discuss our “reading wishlist” – in other words, things we wish authors would write about. Guys, this one was HARD! Obviously I did not want to give away anything that I might be working on (sorry)… I finally came up with some. They’re not all super unique, but I would like these books anyway. So if you want to write them, go for it!

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Book Review: Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

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I don’t really know how to describe Moxyland. It is Science Fiction set in Cape Town, and has FOUR POVs – an art-school drop-out, and activist, an “Aidsbaby” climbing the corporate ladder and a Vlogger/Gamer (basically). Don’t run away from the multiple POVs though, I thought it was quite well done. One can clearly tell the difference between characters, unlike some other books (like The Scorpio Races) where it was easy to get confused between the narrators.

The South Africa in Moxyland is basically a police state that favours big corporations. Technology is everything, and your cellphone determines your level of access. Thus, the homeless without cell phones truly are entirely disenfranchised. Continue reading

Read Around the World with Google Maps

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For a while now, it has been important to me that readers read widely. Bookworms will tell you that reading opens your mind, widens your world, allows you to travel when plane tickets are expensive and holidays in short supply. But I think, to some extent, there is a clause to this. I don’t think reading opens your mind quite as much if you only read one genre… or if you only read books set in one country (not judging, just hypothesising). That is why I went out of my way in 2013 to read books from countries I had never read. (Some of my favourites here.)

So I started looking at the books I have read. And I started thinking how awesome it would be if I could have a graphical representation of that. And then this happened:

 

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Top Ten Reads of 2013

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Happy New Year! Well, almost. I think it is kind of fitting to end the year with a list of my favourite books of the year. This was hard, because books are awesome, and ratings often arbitrary. I read 79 books this year – and it’s not humble-brag or anything; I know that many people read way more than that, but it is still quite a lot to choose just ten from. My attempt, nonetheless:fireworks Continue reading

Book Review: Last Night I Dreamed of Peace

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I bought this book while in Vietnam with Semester at Sea. Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Đặng Thùy Trâm is the wartime diary of a young Vietnamese doctor during the Vietnam War (or the American War for them)  - 25, barely graduated, a female doctor in the 1960s.

Thuy was an incredible young woman. She grew up in Northern Vietnam, but was posted in the South at a civilian clinic for the war effort. She had to do many things she was not comfortable with, and soon took the role of a “war surgeon”. In addition she was responsible for training young nurses. I was hooked by the first line:

“Operated on one case of appendicitis with inadequate anaesthesia.” Continue reading

Doctors and Piercings: Two Years Later

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Just over two years ago, I had my nose pierced.

It was the end of my third year of medical school, and I preceded my action by seeking advice from many people – I spoke to my family, mentors and other students, and I posted this and this.

I never did post that I got the piercing. I guess it did not seem like massive news then. But I’ve been seeing a lot of searches for “doctors and piercings” directing to my blog, and I figured a follow-up was in order.

piercing_med Continue reading